I have owned the Toyota Isis for approximately 18 months. I initially bought it as a family car, a purpose it still serves, although it has lately turned into a tourist car. I run a tour company and when I have failed to get a car for hire to transport clients or when those on the market become costly to hire, I turn to my Isis.
The car is designed to carry seven passengers, including the driver, but when the occupants are of average sizes, it can carry up to eight or nine passengers with ease since it has two foldable seats in the trunk that can cater for two more passengers or luggage. For instance, I normally pick clients from the airport who travel with big suitcases and I do not have to hire another car for luggage.
Its fuel consumption is similar to that of a Toyota Premio with a 1800cc engine. The difference is in horsepower and sitting capacity. It runs on a 1800cc engine size and on the highway, it has the capacity to cover approximately 13 kilometres using one litre of fuel because the engine is running fast and consuming less fuel.
Since I mostly I use it for long distances, I visit the garage every time I return to Kampala to make sure it is road worthy. On average, I spend approximately Shs150,000 each time I service it. It is a low maintenance car whose spare parts are not only locally available but are also affordable.
My particular model comes fitted with a four wheel drive (4WD) system that makes it drivable on slippery roads without worry of getting stuck by the roadside.
The Toyota Isis is a user friendly car. It is one you can not only drive to office every day but you can also drive it upcountry and still use it to carry any other luggage. It comes with a big boot that can accommodate a considerable amount of luggage.
I sometimes fill its tank with between Shs180,000 to Shs200,000, which is approximately 60 litres of fuel and this takes me for close to two weeks. In terms of consumption, it is an economical car capable of giving you 12 kilometres on the highway and approximately seven or eight when driving in areas with heavy traffic jam.
I have been to the garage few times because the Isis is not as fragile as some other cars. Mine rarely breaks down since I mostly use it for town rounds. On average, I spend approximately Shs120,000 on service and maintenance. This is for crucial car oils such as engine oil, brake pads and transmission fluid, among others.
Because of its raised ground clearance, I can easily manoeuvre through roads with potholes without worry of damaging any parts underneath such as the oil sump or the exhaust system.
Besides the Isis’ cost-effective fuel consumption, I also love it for its stability on the road. I have driven some Toyota brands where you cross the 100km/hour mark and it starts vibrating. It is not the case with the Isis because it is heavier than other cars of the same brand.
At high speeds such as 120km/hour, the Isis is even more stable because it is heavy. It will be more stable and not compromise the driving comfort when it is loaded, much as it will have a slight impact on fuel consumption.
However, you do not have to test its stability at high speeds unless you are an experienced driver with the ability to control the car without causing accidents.
I am a lawyer and the beauty with the Isis is that it also comes with lots of storage pockets, especially on the door sides and the dashboard. It is a moving office of sorts. Surprisingly, I sometimes hold meetings of approximately three people in the car when I find a favourable environment. This is possible because it has a spacious interior.
On average, I spend approximately Shs200,000 on service once in four or five months because I rarely drive out of Kampala. From my home in Najjera, Kampala, to Kampala City centre (a distance of about 12.9km), in a week, I use approximately Shs120,000 worth of fuel to and from work. However, this cost goes down significantly when I wake up early and make my way to work before the traffic jam build -up.
Maximum power - 130 - 158ps
Fuel consumption -13 - 15km/L
Drive type - AWD/FF
Engine capacity - 1,794 - 1,998cc
Number of seats - 7